This is the #36 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Alice (17) from Wales. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Alice, take it away…

Where are you from?

Newport, Wales. But I also live half my life in a beautiful part of Carmarthen, Wales.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a student.

What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?

Horse riding, Music, Steampunk, Art, Astronomy/Stargazing.

How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?

12/13.

When did you first find out it was called misophonia?

About 7 months ago.

What are your 3 biggest triggers? 

Do you have any other sensory quirks?

Can be very sensitive with all my other senses – small differences between sounds and colour, slight change in temperature and light, very faint or distant sounds, awareness and instinct (counting this as a sort of sense).

Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?

Told one friend everything, she listened but forgot about it the next day, other than that just said that I have “issues” with certain sounds but for the most part they ignore or forget about it.

What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?

It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back it is a bit. Both my parents were snoring loudly and the only place in the house I couldn’t hear them was the bathroom. I got that fed up that I actually dragged cushions and bedding down and slept in the bath…

What helps you to cope with your misophonia?

Leaving the area or stopping the noise when possible, a brilliant pair of cheap-ish but very high quality in ear headphones that block out noise, especially with foam buds. They can’t hear my music and I can’t hear anything else.

Also, reminding myself that it’s not them, it’s me and my misophonia, it’s really NOT their fault.

What are your misophonic superpowers?

I have fixed or secured several things that were squeaking or clicking, sometimes a squeak so high-pitched my parents can’t actually hear them! I also have a high attention to detail, I notice the little things a lot, mostly in designs and music, picking up ‘background’ sounds you always hear but never really pay attention to or actively notice.

What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?

It’s really NOT someone else’s fault, most of the time. They can’t help having a cold, or being fidgety (I fidget a lot). And even if they can help it, they probably don’t even know they’re doing it… just because I get triggered by it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone else notices it.

It hasn’t stopped the triggers, but it certainly has helped with the anger. I’ll admit I didn’t think it would, but surprisingly by reminding myself that it’s nobody else’s fault I’ve taken the anger directed at a certain person out of the equation, so even though I’m still triggered and feeling horrible, I’m not actually angry at someone.

What’s your very best life hack?

A quote to help going forward:

“I can’t go back, but I can appreciate what I have right now, and define myself by what I AM, instead of what I’m NOT.” – J. Michael Straczynski.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?

Keep going, stay strong, never forget your headphones and take some comfort in knowing that there are more of us out there than you think, and as long as we keep raising awareness and keep pushing, we can get the research and the help that we need.

Just look at where depression and LGBTQ was 30, 40 years ago, and look now. And developments are happening sooner and faster all the time. We’ll get there! Xx

And finally! The quick fire round…

Favourite place you’ve visited:

Either Lincoln or Carmarthen (I know I’m there all the time, but it’s so beautiful and peaceful and familiar!).

Favourite song:

Either Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, The Chain by Fleetwood Mac or Jack the Green by Tanglefoot.

Favourite book:

The Adventures of Alan Shaw by Craig Hallam.

Favourite work of art:

All of my Grandfather’s drawings and paintings.

5 things you couldn’t live without:

Music; Friends & Family; Our place in Carmarthen; Stars; Food.